Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A New Offer for a New Day

The University of Bradford in Solidarity with Gaza

In regards to the offer proposed yesterday, declined by the students, we appreciate the engagement of the university staff with our cause and regret the inconvenience caused by our continued occupation and we appreciate the support of the university security staff. However, we still feel our actions were fully justified and necessary. We feel strongly that we needed to stay overnight to fully consider all options. Having taken the time to consider the VC’s perspective, and a continued discussion of our own aims, we have created a new proposal which we feel all sides can accept.

In regards to Gaza, the university must:

1. Condemn violence and express its commitment to the principles of peace and justice and upholding international law.
2. Ask the Islamic University of Gaza if they are interested in twinning and:
• Write to the Islamic University of Gaza laying out what the University of Bradford may be able to offer in terms of teaching and research links, and emphasising solidarity and rights to education.
• Draw up a list of resources that may be useful in assisting the University of Gaza in rebuilding its infrastructure.
• Find out (with help from other organisations) how they can logistically transport education related aid into Gaza.
• Assign an individual or working group to gather information about the specific challenges of twinning with a university under occupation and draw up an action plan, which could involve teaching and research links.
3. UoB must pledge to provide additional financial support for Palestinian students. UoB to investigate whether to do this through scholarships, fee reduction, home fees or bursaries. This is in reference to all Palestinian students, not just current students. New scholarships must make a particular focus on Palestine and other stateless individuals.
4. Empower the food and drinks task group to make decisions about the ethical nature of products being sold on campus. In support of this, we the students, alongside the UBU, resolve to raise awareness and promote debate about products being sold on campus.
5. Write a public letter to Lloyds TSB, asking for clarification on their policy regarding Interpal. The university must also publish their reply.
6. Expand its ethical investment policy, to specifically exclude any investments that involve arms trading or oppressive regimes. This should be done with the utmost urgency, and with continued engagement with university staff and students.
7. Support non-violent actions taking place on campus making people aware of the issues, with no repercussions for any participants.
8. Recognise the efforts made by staff and students in pressuring the government to support any inquiries looking into war crimes etc. It is now time for the university as an institution to add to this by calling on the government and other universities itself.
9. For some of these actions to be taken over time and these to be monitored and reported back to students via the Union’s negotiation framework.

1 comment:

  1. After a decision this morning with the Vice-Chancellor and the Student Union heads of terms on the updated demands where agreed.

    The group of students (around 20) agreed to move to the Atrium (the public space in the University) while a small negotiation group finalised the final detail with the Vice Chancellor.

    This fast meeting of terms and concessions on both sides has lead to a very friendly atmosphere but one which is getting outcomes.